Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is a giant festival celebrated by millions of people around the world especially those with Chinese background. It is one of the most impactful holidays which lasted for a little bit more than 2 weeks. Furthermore, in China, it is considered as a national holiday and can last for as long as a month of holiday. The Chinese New Year is also known as Lunar New Year as it is a new year that follows the lunar calendar and is not celebrated on the 1st of January, like the usual Western New Year which we celebrate on the first day of the Gregorian calendar.
As we know now, Lunar New Year is celebrated for 15 days, but what do people do during those 15 days? Below is a guide on how Chinese New Year is celebrated by people around the world in 2021.
Chinese New Year Preparations
1. House Cleaning – February 4, 2021
The preparations start way back to 7 days before the New Year’s Eve. On the 23rd day of the 12th month according to lunar calendar, Chinese clean their houses thoroughly and is considered as sweeping away bad luck. It is believed that by cleaning the house before New Year, it welcomes good luck on the following year and throws away bad luck and a way to say goodbye to the old year.
2. Shopping – February 4-10, 2021
Just like Christmas, where there are a lot of sales in stores and people went shopping, people would buy snacks and foods, also New Year’s clothes before the New Year’s Eve. This is a time where Chinese spend a lot of money despite knowing how thrifty they are.
Chinese New Year’s Eve Activities
1. Decorate Houses
Usually, people would decorate their house with red decorations including red lanterns, New Year’s cut-outs, posters, and greetings cut-outs. Also, decorations with a picture of the zodiac related to the year are also set up, and sometimes you can see it on the red envelope pattern.
2. Offerings to Ancestors
Chinese have unique traditions. During the Chinese New Year’s Eve, they would offer sacrifices to pay respect to their ancestors that are believed to protect and help them grow prosperously. It is also a way to let the ancestors eat first by offering them food and drinks with utensils to eat the food with.
Chinese New Year’s Day
1. Firing Up Fireworks
It is a tradition that on every Chinese New Year, people will always fire up firecrackers. Long time ago, it is believed that there was a monster that attacked a village, and the firecrackers scare the monster away. However, nowadays people light up firecrackers to brighten up the vibe and it is also believed that the louder and merrier the firecrackers are, it will bring more luck for the business along the year and future.
2. Visiting Relatives
During the Chinese New Year, people usually visits their relatives and even close friends to celebrate and give greetings to each other. They usually prepare food at home for people who would visit so they can eat. During this time, kids are also given red envelopes after saying GongXiFaCai, which means Happy New Year, to the elders.